MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (FOX 2) – Gabe is a little superhero of sorts, diagnosed with Leukemia when he was nine months old, this little boy is a true fighter.
But last month he had his third relapse and when doctors determined he was too sick for certain treatments his parents made the difficult decision to discontinue treatment and focus on life.
Gabe is doing all of the things that healthy kids get to do.
“His Joy has been the best part as long he’s enjoying himself, we’re enjoying ourselves,” Gabe’s mom Melissa Crowe said.
The blow-out birthday party was like something you would see in the movies, from a go-kart track to a bounce house to a candy station and a chocolate fountain.
“All of us in the family have been so overwhelmed at all the people coming out praying and supporting Gabe it’s beyond anything I could imagine it’s just wonderful,” Gabe’s grandmother Sandi Kruszyna said.
Rainbow Connection and Club Venetian collaborated on the epic celebration.
“I’ve been with the rainbow connection nearly 20 years and when I walked in the door today, I was blown away. I needed to take a moment because it was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen,” Ingrid Todt with Rainbow Connection said.
“Our hearts have been full ever since we got the phone call, and there hasn’t been one person that I called that said they could not help us they said Rita whatever you need we are here for you,” Rita Bolzan said with Pompeo and Club Venetian.
The birthday boy had an awesome time at his birthday party and that was the best gift of all, pure joy.
“He’s feeling so great just having so much fun and that’s the best part.”
A huge thank you to our friends at Heritage Oaks Landscaping! When we contacted them for advice on how to “spruce up” our front lawn, they jumped in and generously took on the entire project – what a gift! We are so grateful for this beautiful donation and we cannot wait to show it off! In just 3 days, their talented crew installed a new set of stairs, walkway, and upgraded our garden area. Stop on by and check it out!
Simply put, without our donors, The Rainbow Connection (TRC) would not be what it is today. Every act of kindness, every service and every dollar sets off its own series of unforeseen ripples. TRC is grateful to be supported by so many passionate, cause-driven donors and volunteers committed to granting wishes for Michigan children with life threatening medical conditions.
Our supporters give hope to wish children like Riley, who wished for a hot tub. On World Gratitude Day, TRC is sharing her story as a representation of the impact our donors and volunteers have on our mission.
Her dad shares the impact of Riley’s wish, “When we first told Riley she was eligible for a gift from The Rainbow Connection, she didn’t think it was real. Frankly, neither did I. It was really unique to watch a twelve year old little girl logically work through the decision process. She finally decided she wanted a hot tub. We asked her why she did not want a trip and she said, “A trip is great but you have to wait a long time for it and when it’s over it is gone. A hot tub lasts forever and everyone can enjoy it.
I remember the day we told Riley her wish was granted by TRC. She was in the middle of a rough chemotherapy treatment. She was physically drained and her spirits were low. When we told Riley her wish was granted, her entire face lit up and the color came back to her face. She was in disbelief and as we watched her fall asleep her smile stayed right on her beautiful face.
Riley spent, and this is not an exaggeration, the entire weekend in the hot tub! We call it “Riley’s Oasis” and she was so excited and happy. At one point, she had twenty Barbie dolls swimming with her in the hot tub.
We are back in the hospital this week for more chemotherapy and yes, it is rough. But the fact that she has “Riley’s Oasis” when she gets home is one of the biggest things keeping her going.”
These wonderful and unforgettable experiences like Riley’s would not be possible if not for the kind hearted donors and volunteers that make the magic of granting wishes possible. Thank YOU for your commitment to our wish children and making dreams come true – we couldn’t do this without you!
Kim has been volunteering with The Rainbow Connection for almost a year. She has quickly become a familiar face around our office and is our newest member of the Magic Closet Committee. This group of volunteers comes together monthly to brainstorm ideas and secure donations and items for our amazing auctions. She has a passion for fundraising and enjoys knowing that her efforts are helping to make wishes come true for our kids!
Kim is married and a mom to four grown children. After retiring from her own local retail business, Kim was actively volunteering with Gilda’s Club. When looking for something a little closer to home, Gilda’s Club referred her to The Rainbow Connection, where she’s been volunteering ever since! When Kim is not volunteering, she enjoys Michigan’s beautiful lakes and parks and even belongs to a paddle-board group up north.
Thank you, Kim, for all you do to support our wish kids and families!
In memory of our founder L. Brooks Patterson (1939-2019). Through his vision and compassion for helping those in need, over 3,500 wishes have been granted for Michigan children battling a life-threatening illness. Mr. Patterson’s honorable legacy will still carry on as we continue to provide hope, comfort, and joy to our wish families when they need it the most.
[Rochester, Michigan, June 26, 2019] – The Rainbow Connection announces a new partnership with Guernsey Farms Dairy. As part of the partnership, The Rainbow Connection logo will appear on all Guernsey products, including their world-famous chocolate milk and 31 flavors of ice cream. Messaging alongside the logo will encourage customers to learn more about the Michigan children’s charity. Together, these two companies have over 100 years of experience serving Michigan families.
Executive Director, George Miller shares, “The Rainbow Connection is honored to be chosen as the charity of choice by the Guernsey family. This is an outstanding opportunity for us to spread our mission across the state and we are privileged to be attached to such an amazing operation!”
Since 1940, Families across Michigan have enjoyed Guernsey’s tasty dairy products, from their award-winning milk to their distinctive ice cream.
Guersey Farms Dairy was built on the foundation of quality and commitment to creating excellent products, but the founders also believed in actively participating with the local community. One way Guernsey maintains that involvement is through this partnership with the Rainbow Connection.
The Rainbow Connection is a 501(c)3 Michigan non-profit dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Since 1985, The Rainbow Connection has granted over 3500 wishes to brave children right here in our community. Granting wishes is a way of providing families the opportunity to share a positive experience together, making lasting memories along the way and providing hope for a brighter future. Our Enhancement and Special Response programs make us ‘more than a wish’ wrapping the family in an umbrella of care because we know families in crises need specialized support.
Years ago, a colleague brought Ryan Giacolone to the Dobson Open golf outing for the first time. Soon after he learned about how The Rainbow Connection helped Michigan children, Ryan knew he had found a mission he believed in. A father of four himself, Ryan understands the importance of family.
“Children are my passion. My kids are my passion. So I found an organization that serves other children and it really struck home for me. One of the most important things when you serve is that you’ve got to find a mission you believe in, or else you’re never going to be committed to it,” Ryan said.
In addition to volunteering for many years, Ryan has served on the Finance committee, as Vice President, and currently serves as President of the Executive Board.
Ryan’s enduring passion for football inspired him to sponsor a wish for another dedicated fan. Austin’s wish was to come face-to-face with the Seattle Seahawks players, and Ryan excitedly stepped up to sponsor the trip. After Austin returned, Ryan received a photo of Austin in the locker room, beaming with pride, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with NFL star, Russell Wilson. This photo serves as a reminder to Ryan that he helped to put a smile on Austin’s face, and the faces of his family members, during a very challenging time.
“When a child is fighting a life-threatening illness, the struggle extends far beyond the child to the family, siblings, and parents,” Ryan said. He feels that the Wish experience is truly a whole-family experience. “That’s what really means a lot to me. It’s not just that child [who experiences delight, but rather] the whole family experiences relief for a period of time, and they just get to enjoy some happiness.”
The Arab American News – Posted Thursday, July 7th 2019 by Hassan Abbas
Rochester – Since its inception in 1985, Rochester based charity organization Rainbow Connection has made wishes come true for thousands of children with life threatening medical conditions in Michigan.
The charity began when Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson organized a memorial golf outing to raise scholarship funds in honor of victims of a tragic plane crash.
The organization has since ballooned out into a state-wide charity that grants wishes to between 150 and 160 children a year…
The Rainbow Connection Office is so excited to unveil our brand new wish wall! It features all of the brave wish children who we have granted wishes for this year, or who will receive their wishes in the future! Jackson Architectural Metals created and donated the newly renovated wall to our TRC office.
On the right hand side, every child who has received a wish since January 2019 is pictured.
At the beginning of February, 5 year old Hendrick’s wish finally came true after a long journey with Leukemia. Hendrick had been patiently waiting to meet Mickey Mouse and see the magic that all of the Orlando theme parks had to offer – his dream came true last month! He and his parents stayed at the exclusive Give Kids The World resort and created some once in a lifetime memories together! Hendrick’s favorite part of his wish trip was the Curious George Fun Center at Universal Studios. As you can see from the joy on his face, it was an incredible trip!
The left side of the Wish Wall features all the children that have been referred to TRC but haven’t received their wish yet. If there is a star next to their picture, like 15 year old Brandon’s, the wish is booked and ready to happen! Brandon is from Saginaw and was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphona. He wishes to travel to Atlantis with his family. Nancy, his Wish Coordinator, has his trip booked for the beginning of June!
TRC does not have a waiting list – so when a child is ready for their wish, our Wish Department is ready to make it happen. Sometimes wish children are waiting because they are going through treatment or because they want their wish to coincide with a special event – like their birthday! Jada’s wish is to celebrate her 13th birthday with her family in Disney World!
At The Rainbow Connection, our focus is on these wish children and their families, each child’s special wish and our ability to make them come true. Once-in-a-lifetime wishes give children the ability to dream the impossible! Since we began this mission, no child in need of a wish has ever been turned away or made to wait. Our wish is to provide hope, memories, laughter and something to look forward to for our wish children.
To learn more about our mission, services and how you can get involved with TRC, visit one of our FREE “Get Rainbow Connected” monthly tours! The next tour is Tuesday, April 16th at 9:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
The Rainbow Connection’s Wish Coordinator Kristen McKelvey joined Bishop Kelley students, like first-grader Atticus Yaros and former Rainbow Connection Wish receiver Eli Anglebrandt, Thursday to learn the result of the school’s penny wars fundraiser. Photo by Nicholas PuglieseLAPEER — In June, Eli Anglebrandt will be five years cancer free.
On Thursday, with the help from his Bishop Kelley Catholic School peers and teachers, Eli delivered a check to an organization that, during the most difficult point in his young life, offered him a week of much-needed respite.
BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE • NPUGLIESE@MIHOMEPAPER.COM March 17, 2019